This is Book 1. One is more than enough for just about anybody, but Book 2 is available for the very, very avid.

THIS OR THAT?

BOOK 1

From the This or That? series , Vol. 1

A compendium of silly, gross, or otherwise oddball dilemmas to solve.

Taking the premise of John Burningham’s storytime standby Would You Rather? (1978) and running a long, long way with it, Snider offers over 200 posers along the lines of: “Would you rather lick a stranger…or…eat a cup of spider eggs?” Though some of the decision-making might actually be pragmatic (“Would you rather play a crazy prank on your MOM…or…play a crazy prank on your DAD?”), the author mostly goes for the “Eeeeew!” response. Low-rent graphics, varying little from page to unnumbered page, feature the two alternatives placed as if bursting through ruled-paper backgrounds, with occasional cutout photos of an animal or food product alongside. Arranged, if that’s the word, for random dipping, the choices come in no particular sequence or thematic progression, and repetitive scenarios are fairly common. Young browsers who find the more-directed options offered in Joan Axelrod-Contrada’s This or That Animal Debate (2013) and the many like compendia too sedate or worthy of serious consideration may be happy mulling over whether it would be preferable to “stick your hand in a clogged toilet” or “up the butt of a moose,” to “burp your ABCs” or “fart 10 times in a row.” Maybe.

This is Book 1. One is more than enough for just about anybody, but Book 2 is available for the very, very avid. (Nonfiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: Jan. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4549-2102-8

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

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THE GRAPES OF MATH

MIND-STRETCHING MATH RIDDLES

This genuinely clever math book uses rhyming couplets and riddles, as well as visual cues to help the reader find new ways to group numbers for quick counting. It’s a return to number sets, with none of those boring parentheses and <>signs. Here the rhyme gives a clue to the new ways of grouping numbers. For example: “Mama mia, pizza pie, / How many mushrooms do you spy? / Please don’t count them, it’s too slow, / This hot pie was made to go! / Let me give you some advice, / Just do half and count it twice.” A quick look at the pizza, and the reader can see each slice has the same number of mushrooms. Count by threes for half the pie, and double it. Each rhyme is given a double-page spread. The extra-large, brightly colored images leap off the page but never distract from the author’s intent. Some riddles are very challenging, but the author provides all the solutions in the back. Once the reader has seen the answers, the strategy is obvious and can be applied to other situations. Great fun for math enthusiasts and creative thinkers, this might also teach adults some new tricks. A winning addition. (Nonfiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-439-21033-X

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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Chicken sexer? Breath odor evaluator? Cryptozoologist? Island caretaker? The choices dazzle! (Informational picture book....

INCREDIBLE JOBS YOU'VE (PROBABLY) NEVER HEARD OF

From funeral clown to cheese sculptor, a tally of atypical trades.

This free-wheeling survey, framed as a visit to “The Great Hall of Jobs,” is designed to shake readers loose from simplistic notions of the world of work. Labarre opens with a generic sculpture gallery of, as she puts it, “The Classics”—doctor, dancer, farmer, athlete, chef, and the like—but quickly moves on, arranging busy cartoon figures by the dozen in kaleidoscopic arrays, with pithy captions describing each occupation. As changes of pace she also tucks in occasional challenges to match select workers (Las Vegas wedding minister, “ethical” hacker, motion-capture actor) with their distinctive tools or outfits. The actual chances of becoming, say, the queen’s warden of the swans or a professional mattress jumper, not to mention the nitty-gritty of physical or academic qualifications, income levels, and career paths, are left largely unspecified…but along with noting that new jobs are being invented all the time (as, in the illustration, museum workers wheel in a “vlogger” statue), the author closes with the perennial insight that it’s essential to love what you do and the millennial one that there’s nothing wrong with repeatedly switching horses midstream. The many adult figures and the gaggle of children (one in a wheelchair) visiting the “Hall” are diverse of feature, sex, and skin color.

Chicken sexer? Breath odor evaluator? Cryptozoologist? Island caretaker? The choices dazzle! (Informational picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: April 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5362-1219-8

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Nosy Crow

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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